So the Daily Kos kids are being their typical selves: piling on their ideological opposition during a time of trouble to score political points. Caleb Howe, a military veteran, wonderful writer, and friend has been going through some difficult times that have culminated in him being in critical condition in the hospital.
For a lefty who makes everything political, this was the response:
So of course you want to repeal Obamacare. And what the fuck is your apparent “solution”? A tin cup on your website?
He says this as though a tin cup is a bad thing. Charity is a good thing. It comes from people’s hearts. Caleb and his family know they are loved. Every donation (well, most) is a message of goodwill and kindness.
Unlike medicare, medicaid and now Obamacare, charity is less likely to be abused, overused, or overextended. Who wants to exploit their friend’s love? No one. Well, no decent person.
And no decent person would so enjoy the suffering of another person.
Since this has been made into a political discussion, it’s worthwhile to point out that conservatives believe in helping the truly needy. This is what Medicaid was for–not as a catchall insurance program for everyone.
Also, here’s what the hospital will do for Caleb or anyone in a similar situation: they’ll assess his ability to pay and then bill him a small amount each month until they forgive the debt or it’s paid off. I’ve known people who pay $5 a month. Most hospitals were/are have Christian and charitable missions.
That’s America. It’s not a perfect system, to be sure. And improvements to the health care system were needed, but to claim that Obamacare would make Caleb’s situation better and ignore the harm that’s already being done by the legislation, is just willful political exploitation.
Worse, than the political, though, is the personal. The coarsening of our interaction and dehumanization is the biggest loss. Money comes and goes but community bonds and compassion abide. Well, I’d like to think they do, anyway.
Giving a dollar out of spite so you can say something nasty to man who might die and saying it in a place where his wife, children, and extended family will read it, well. What it says about you trumps any political point you hoped to make.
Those raising money for Caleb are almost to $25,000. Please help if you can: Go Fund Me.
On a personal note, Caleb’s girls are dancers and quite good and that’s expensive. Having a dad who can’t work means losing opportunities. These donations will help them pursue their dreams while their dad gets well.
Wishing Caleb and his family wholeness and healing.
Chief Justice Roberts, in writing the final Obamacare opinion, made an argument for Obamacare that Obama and his minions refused to: It’s a tax. So, Justice Roberts found that Obamacare wasn’t okay under the Commerce clause but it was a-ok under the constitution’s provision allowing Congress to levy taxes.
Obamacare is, according to Justice Roberts, the biggest middle class tax hike in history and therefore, constitutional.
Leftists praise the ruling. Conservatives, many of them, are disheartened.
And then there’s these guys who look admiringly at John Roberts for being politically savvy and outmaneuvering the President. You can read Tom Scocca of Slate here, Ezra Klein of the Washington Post here, and George Will here.
Ezra Klein summarizes the Evil Genius argument:
By voting with the liberals to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Roberts has put himself above partisan reproach. No one can accuse Roberts of ruling as a movement conservative. He’s made himself bulletproof against insinuations that he’s animated by party allegiances.
But by voting with the conservatives on every major legal question before the court, he nevertheless furthered the major conservative projects before the court — namely, imposing limits on federal power. And by securing his own reputation for impartiality, he made his own advocacy in those areas much more effective. If, in the future, Roberts leads the court in cases that more radically constrain the federal government’s power to regulate interstate commerce, today’s decision will help insulate him from criticism. And he did it while rendering a decision that Democrats are applauding.
I am not persuaded by this thinking, more on why in a minute.
Erick Erickson had a more reasoned response to the ruling (and I have noted that many conservative lawyers are walking this line, but as I’ve said before, and will repeat here, lawyers don’t think like normal people. They think in the constraints of the law and not in the constraints of morality — what is right and wrong — and this skewed perspective can be technocratic and miss the overarching point. I’m not sure that my conservative lawyer friends are quite missing the point, but I feel murky about this parsing). You can read Erick’s nuanced view here.
One point Erick makes is that Roberts is trying to keep the Supreme Court above the partisan fray. That is all noble but is the opinion constitutional?
Sorry if this question makes me literal, but that’s all I care about. The constitution being upheld is of paramount importance. By attempting to be “non-partisan”, Roberts is conceding that he was influenced by President Obama and the left’s fit-throwing. The toddlers won and so the finding becomes a partisan affair.
Today, Ben Domenech came on the Malcolm & Melissa podcast with Andrew and Me and he noted that if Roberts was politically influenced (and it seems he was), that the Right is going to have to reconsider its longstanding aversion to trying to bully courts into decisions the way the Left has traditionally done. He sees that outcome as profoundly troubling. [Aside: It was a great podcast and I’ll link it as soon as it’s produced.]
The Obamacare ruling makes the hated legislation an election and taxation issue. Some say that Roberts delivered the White House to Romney.
Consider this: Only 47% of American workers even pay Federal Income Tax. The non-tax payers have little vested interest in caring about this tax hike. It won’t affect them. As Avik Roy of Forbes pointed out, 67% of Americans already have subsidized health care. The abused American tax payer is already in the minority. The Democrats were playing the odds with this legislation and they know it. They gambled and time after time, they’ve won.
In addition, the Evil Genius argument not only counts on the American people and Congress to overturn Obamacare, it assumes that Congress will be bound by a tightened Commerce Clause interpretation.
When has a Democrat majority felt constrained by, well, anything? Look at how they were willing to ram Obamacare down America’s throat. There is no constraining statists. The Commerce Clause won’t do it, either. In addition, Roberts gives Congress essentially unchecked taxing ability.
Will a Republican Senate and White House overturn Obamacare now known as Obamatax?
If, if, IF.
From the beginning, I’ve felt that if Obamacare passed, repealing it would be nigh to impossible. No, this Supreme Court decision didn’t surprise me.
And in this way, Justice Roberts is right: Voters should be careful about who they elect. Voters shouldn’t be so cavalier about voting for big government Dems.
Voters, and Congress who represents them, need to be more circumspect and take responsibility.
Maybe that’s why I’m despondent: Personal responsibility seems like a quaint, old-fashioned American notion. Trusting Congress is folly.
This video captures it: Excellent job Ben Howe:
According to this recent poll, President Obama’s first term might be his last term based on his signature piece of legislation. Susan Page of USA Today reports:
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the nation’s dozen top battleground states, a clear majority of registered voters call the bill’s passage “a bad thing” and support its repeal if a Republican wins the White House in November. Two years after he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act— and as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about its constitutionality next month — the president has failed to convince most Americans that it was the right thing to do.
“Mandating that you have to buy the insurance rubs me the wrong way altogether,” says Fred Harrison, 62, a horse trainer from York County, Pa., who was among those surveyed and supports repeal even though he likes some provisions of the law. “It should be my own choice.”
Well, this is predictable.
Some on the right fear that when Obamacare gets more entrenched, say around 2014, that people will like it more. I disagree. Here’s why:
1. People who are currently insured don’t have long doctor wait times, can get procedures covered if their doctor deems them necessary, etc. Under Obamacare, wait times, access, will get worse.
2. People who aren’t currently insured already get health care. I know this is shocking, but they do. Now, they’re going to have to buy insurance, sign up with paperwork, go through crap to get what they used to get by pay cash or turning up on a hospital’s doorstep.
3. Many people excited about Obamacare are excited in theory and have little to lose. That is, they are already richand can afford what they want no matter or they’re already poor and on the government dole.
The vast middle of America hates Obamcare and their fury will rise as the government tells them all the treatments, tests, medications, and doctors they can and cannot have.
Nationalized healthcare (and for all the blather otherwise, this is centrally controlled health care) is profoundly un-American. It goes against the grain of everything American.
Obamcare is anti-choice, anti-freedom, anti-responsibility, and pro-central command and control, pro-limits, and pro-bureaucracy.
It is a disaster.
Ah, Medicare fraud. In New York the Russian mafia has been running a Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance racket for years. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. In addition, in Houston, a network of Mexican gangs colluding with doctors and lawyers ran a Workers Comp and PI racket for years. And then, Texas passed tort reform, changed WC reimbursement law and cut the knees out from them. It was so awesome. The docs and lawyers who were coked up, hooker loving mobsters got put out of business in one day. The legit docs around here laughed at their expense.
The problem with Obama and his ilk is that they’ll use the full force of the Feds to go after fraud but they won’t also deal with the garbage that the laws allow. They don’t want to piss off the Trial Lawyers. And so the scams will get worse. There’s a lot of money to be made.
36 arrested in Medicare scams totaling $251 million
By Kelli Kennedy ASSOCIATED PRESS
Friday, July 16, 2010
In a separate Brooklyn case, authorities indicted six patients who shopped their Medicare numbers to various clinics. More than 3,744 claims were submitted on behalf of one woman in the past six years. The patients did not receive the services billed to Medicare, authorities said.
Today’s arrests illustrate how health care fraud schemes can replicate virally and migrate rapidly across communities, said Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare.
Federal authorities launched a strike force in Miami in 2007 to target the problem. The program has since expanded to seven cities and is responsible for more than 720 indictments that collectively have billed the Medicare program for more than $1.6 billion.
The new federal health-care law has raised the stakes for hospitals and schools already scrambling to train more doctors.
Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.
The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.
The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.
A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.
The whole point of health care reform was too feel better–not you, or your health–but liberal politicians.
It wasn’t to improve health care treatment.
It wasn’t to reduce costs.
It wasn’t even to get more people under care.
Wait, what? That’s right. More people will be insured, but patients will receive less care at more cost. It’s just logical. The new health care system creates a gatekeeper system that will eliminate individual choice and drive up costs. So, a person thinks something is wrong with his prostate–he goes directly to a proctologist. That saves 1. wait time 2. cost (no double doctor fees) and 3. diagnosis time.
But not now.
Oh no! Now, a patient must wait to get into an overburdened primary care physician, get a referral and then get into another physician. A patient will be dead by the time he gets diagnosed.
The inevitable response?
Cash-only doctors. Some doctors won’t accept this new insurance and work outside the system. So, people will pay into the health service, hate the waits and then, go pay cash for good care.
The rich will have good care while subsidizing everyone else. The middle class will be caught in a jam because the taxes will be so egregious they can’t afford anything, never mind a quick diagnosis. So they will be caught in government-mandated substandard care.
And the poor, who don’t pay into the system, will still misuse the system because they still won’t take care of themselves. And Medicare and Medicaid could have been expanded to help them as is.
But noooo. An overhaul had to happen. The government had to control health care.
If this diseased legislation doesn’t get revoked, America is going to go down the road of all disastrous socialized countries: chronic unemployment, disheartened and downwardly mobile middle class and an elite aristocracy for whom policy doesn’t matter.
In the liberal world that’s called utopia.
And by the way, a small board will decide what does and does not get covered under Obamacare. So, yes, death sentences will be handed down by the government. That too, is inevitable.
Podcast: Tea Party Express Goes After Harry Reid, John Hawkins On Repealing HCR, The Greatness of 80s Music & Exclusive Tea Party Song LaunchThursday, March 25th, 2010
Why were the 80s great? Ronald Reagan and Prince, that’s why. Also, my high school friend Joey Wright has written a great anthem for the Tea Party movement. His website is here. Listen to the podcast for the world-exclusive.
Talk 80s music with Leon Wolf of Redstate, Still Stacy of StillStacy.com, Tabitha Hale of Freedom Works and Jimmie Bise of The Delivery. Then John Hawkins of Right Wing News discusses getting rid of Democrats and the state of socialism. Finally, Ryan Gill talks Tea Party Express and their upcoming kick-off tour in Searchlight, Nevada home town of Harry Reid.
The coming two-week congressional break was long dreaded by Democratic leaders, who feared the political fallout of having members go back home without a health care law to tout.
That’s not a worry any longer. Perceptions have turned so much that Democrats are now eager to head home and talk about the impact of the new law, House Ways and Means Chairman Sandy Levin said today.
Levin, D-Mich., said on ABC’s “Top Line” that Democrats are looking forward to defending and explaining the health care reforms they enacted.
“I think the health bill will be very much part of the debate, and we’re very happy to go — we’re anxious to go home and talk to our constituents about it,” Levin said. “But clearly jobs is a major, major issue as well, and we have to address the jobs issue.”
“I’ve been talking to a lot of my colleagues who are in very marginal seats, I think five, six, seven weeks ago they would have been worried about going home, wondering whether or not they were going home to immense unpopularity of an issue,” Levin added.
“I think they now feel that they stood up, the vast majority of them, to their credit. This is a bill that has so many positives. I go home and the people tell me about preexisting conditions, they can’t get insurance. I go home and people say to me that the costs are going out of control, and they are going to lose their insurance. This bill address costs, it addresses also preexisting conditions, it assists people who are uninsured.”
“So now there’s a feeling we can go back home, be proud of what we have done, understand there’s more to be done to implement it, but I think there had been a turning,” Levin said. “What helps most of all are the facts in the bill, and so we’re going to go home and talk about the facts. And I think that the more we talk about the facts and not some of this overblown rhetoric, the more people will understand this is a positive step. It’s in the best traditions of our country.”
So they really believe this? Are they really that out of touch? If so, this demonstrates the problem.
WARNING: Vice President Joe Biden’s language used for effect. Do not give me
You know how when you do something you really want to do, but you know your spouse/children/boss/friend is going to friggin’ hate your ever-living-guts when you do it, and it seems like a good idea because you want to do it so bad, and then you do it and then they hate you, and the doing it, while transiently satisfying, does not at all reach the happiness you would have had if you’d had just sucked it up and done what your spouse/children/boss/friend wanted you to do, but man, you were so sick of going along with them, because if they just knew what was best (like you do), they’d see it your way, but they don’t see it your way and now they are super pissed because they’re forced to do it your way, but most likely that temporary win is going to be a big lose, because you’re now divorced/disowned/fired/shunned? You know that feeling?
And then, you know how big of an ass you feel because, man, it felt so good, to do what you wanted. I mean, you’ve wanted to do this for years, because you just knew it would be so
And now, they are kicking your ass out? You’re a
They’ll come around. They will. A$$holes. Why can’t they just get it? Why does it have to be their way? Well, not this time, suckahs! It’s my way! How do you like me now? How. Do. You. Like. Me. NOW? Yeah, that’s right. I’m king of the world, man. I did this. I enjoyed it. And I’m not going to let small-minded people like you, who just don’t get the vision, to rain on my parade. You’re all psychotic anyway…and what about those violent tendencies? You don’t have to be so mad. Simmer down. Be civil, at least. Yeah, you’re stuck doing it my way (stifled giggle) but, still it’s the best way.
You’ll see. You’ll see.
Hey! When did you change the locks? That ain’t right.
About those F-bombs: more here.
Man, have Democrats always been statists? The answer seems to be a resounding, “Yes!” Here is a must read from Michael Zak at Big Government:
In 1854, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. Their top priority was to repeal the Missouri Compromise prohibition of slavery in the northern territories. The author of this infamous legislation, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was Stephen Douglas, a Democrat Senator from Illinois and owner of a slave plantation in Mississippi.
Senator Douglas claimed the law would be a final solution to the slavery question, so that Congress could move on to other issues. In fact, the Kansas-Nebraska Act sparked a political firestorm. Opponents of slavery – and the police state and economic stagnation that went with it – understood that, if unchecked, the slave system would expand throughout the territories and then the entire nation.
As the Democrat-controlled Supreme Court would soon prove with its 7-2 Dred Scott decision (both Republicans dissenting), pro-freedom Americans feared that the judiciary would uphold the expansion of slavery. Many Democrats were already touting slavery (not for themselves, of course) for poor whites, too. “Free Society!” declared a prominent Democrat newspaper, “We sicken at the name!”
Every American was forced to choose sides. One was either for the free market system or against it; there was no middle ground.
As Alexis De Tocqueville observed: “Socialism is a new form of slavery.” Today’s congressional Democrats who voted to impose socialized medicine on the nation while exempting themselves should bear in mind Abraham Lincoln’s words: “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
Denouncing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln warned against submitting to political masters:
“If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity, of their own liberties, and institutions.
And now, with Obamacare, I feel a strong urge to try it on our leaders personally, but of course, they’ve exempted themselves from such soul (and life)-crushing legislation.
My not-so-cheery thoughts on Obamacare from over at Pajamas Media:
Meanwhile, Americans are stuck with what the Democrats have wrought. And much as they hate the policy rape, they’ll come to identify with their captors soon enough.
Why? It’s human nature.
First, no one will allow Congress to repeal a law that would take away health care “for the children.” Not even the toughest Republican wants to have that conversation with a crying constituent. So it won’t happen. So all the talk of “repeal it” is hopeful hokum.
Second, there are Medicare cuts in the bill. The country is going down the economic crapper and cannot afford the current Medicare and Medicaid obligations, so the cuts and the bill stay.
Third, when people pay huge taxes and then get nothing for it, they know the taxes won’t go away so they complain about the product. That’s what will happen here.
Now, this bill will change everyone’s life for the worse, so there’s that happy thought. Happy? Well, American citizens from young to old will curse the Democrats.
The young people will be furious because when they voted for Obama with unicorn dreams, they didn’t imagine having to actually pay for health care with money that could be used to buy beer. Dude just harshed their mellow.
Old people will be angry because if there is one group of people who hold on to their entitlements with boney, clingy fingers, it’s old people. So with the new health care bill, they get more free drugs but they have to pay for so much else. They won’t be happy.
Small business owners will be more disheartened. We’re in a recession, remember? Yeah, these companies are barely holding on during these tough times, trying to not fire people or lay them off. Now, they have to add health care costs. Guess what? There will suddenly be many more companies with 49 employees. Are you in a company of 60 people where health insurance isn’t provided? Uh-oh. Watch out.
Doctors will stop taking Medicare and Medicaid patients. I already don’t. In protest, doctors across America will simply refuse to accept any government plan. Chaos will ensue. Old people will be hit hardest.
So yes, people are ticked off. Irate even. The Democrats don’t care and the American people are helpless to do anything except pour money into Republican candidates.
And that brings us to the Republicans. Reversing this travesty depends on them. These are the guys bandying about immigration reform and who routinely get lost in the weeds. Will the rage the American people are displaying help them keep their focus? Maybe.
It’s distressing putting my hope in any politician’s will to act nobly. It’s not in the job description. Politicians, even the fresh, green, idealistic politicians who will be elected in November, get polluted almost immediately. They start listening to “advisers” and the more seasoned pros. They start doing what legislators do: make laws. And laws, by definition, impinge on rights. That’s the way it works.
So no, I don’t believe health care will go away. I believe it will divide us, create chaos, and turn the conversation away from big dreams and freedom to provincial “my piece of the pie” talk.
Health care “reform” makes America small. That’s just the way Democrats like it.
Please don’t think I feel totally hopeless. I don’t. The bill can be gutted and dismantled. But can it be repealed? Doubtful. Is the fight over? No.
But this bill irrevocably changed America, there’s no denying it. And it changes America for the worse.